workshops, symposia, residencies & writing
2021 started and is still in lockdown 3 in England. It's been a long winter and the novelty of a continuous online existence has evaporated - it's simply the way to get things done! But chatting with friends, planning projects and taking part in workshops has been enriching. I started the year signing up for a Cultivator Cornwall https://cultivatorcornwall.org.uk/ and Cornwall College Workshop Leader course with an eye to understanding more about how to actively engage people within online formats. Yet to put it into practice but I'm sure it will be useful.
A residency planned for the month at Auction House Project Space https://www.auctionhouseart.co.uk/ run by artist, Liam Jolly https://www.liamjolly.com/, was postponed until August because of the new lockdown. Fine by me as I am hoping people will come on the last weekend to see what I've been up to!
My colleague, artist Elizabeth Masterton and I were invited to take part in Catalyst: marking 10 years of the ESI's Creative Exchange programme. Lizzy and I were Creative Fellows in 2014, developing the Goonhilly Village Green project. The format uses Kunst Matrix's virtual gallery environment and is the first virtual exhibition we've appeared in. http://www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/community/creativeexchange/catalyst/
And I was awarded a Skills Development Grant from Cultivator towards a bespoke course in art writing I'm undertaking with the writer and editor Tom Jeffreys. We'll have 5 sessions between April and December. June update: really enjoying the learning and application of approaches to a range of purposes for writing. Tom is an excellent tutor. I've had my first essay published in the catalogue for Patrick Lowry's Auction House project at Auction House Project Space. See https://www.axisweb.org/p/patricklowry/event/8035-auction-house/ for details.
I'm currently a part of the Exchange project organised by Eastside Projects which brings 60 artists together from six artist-led initiatives. We've been paired with an artist in a different host organisation. I'm having great conversations with Anna Haydock-Wilson https://annahaydockwilson.com/ from Spike Associates. More info from https://eastsideprojects.org/esp/opportunities/the-exchange-open-call/
2020 will be a year for the history books as future analysts discuss the spread and impact of the Coronovirus pandemic. Covid-19 kept many of us at home for extended periods, cut off from our usual activities. In their place, rose the might of virtual engagement when huge swathes of the population turned to digital services to keep in touch. But we also saw its potential as a new way of learning, discussing, disputing, regardless of geographic location. I readily embraced this, taking part in several online initiatives and delivering one of my own in collaboration with artist, Sovay Berriman.
April-May: 12ø Collective's 30works30days, challenged artists to make a new piece of work every day during April, posting each day on their Instagram account. I chose to revisit the Piskeys of Croft Noweth Farm, remaking 30 creatures from materials readily to hand in my house and garden. It was fun! Something I hadn't experienced for a while when working. https://www.12ocollective.com/about
William Arnold's Living Spaces project invited us to take a week-long, direct-to-paper, photographic exposure of our living spaces, a fascinating experience that obliterated any evidence of living beings, capturing instead the inanimate objects we surround ourselves with. https://williamarnold.net/covidobscura-1
Pitch, a School for Civic Action project developed by Michael Speers as part of Soundcamp's Public Works initiative, experimented with listening and transmission structures generated in our homes through an online series of discussions and workshops as part of the hastily convened Creative Quarantine. We also took part in Reveil, a global 24 hour live audio stream foillowing the dawn as it appeared across the world.
June saw me speak about the Goonhilly Village Green project at Culture Declares Emergency's Art Ecology Emergency: Sustaining Practice online symposium developed in collaboration with Exeter University's ESI (Environment & Sustainability Institute) https://www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/ and the Eden Project. https://www.edenproject.com/
And in collaboration with artist, Sovay Berriman https://sovayberriman.co.uk we designed and delivered Agile Structures: Networking in Isolation, a 4 day online symposium for artists, curators and art-writers in Cornwall & Devon to re-vision practice and behaviour in the shadow of the Corona Virus pandemic and in light of an inclusive and environmentally low-impact future. https://agilestructures.persona.co
In July I was resident artist as part of Residency in a Shed https://georgiagendall.co.uk/Residency-in-a-Shed organised by artist Georgia Gendall https://georgiagendall.co.uk at Burnthouse Allotments & Leisure Gardens near Penryn, Cornwall. I spent the week making audio recordings followed by an extended period developing a new sound work, Burnthouse Fantasia which will hopefully be aired during summer 2021 at the allotment.
And in this month I joined CAMP, an artist-led collective serving Cornwall and Devon based in Plymouth. https://www.camp-plymouth.org/ They've developed and delivered a great programme of talks, workshops, social events and professional development which have enabled me to feel connected to a wide commnunity of artists and arts professionals.
October to November saw Agile Structures deliver a half day online workshop for CAMP, Realisation, or Hatching Plans: How to organise self-initiated projects https://www.camp-plymouth.org/hatching-plans/ and a 4 evening workshop for Cultivator Cornwall https://cultivatorcornwall.org.uk/ on negotiating skills, led by artist mentor, Ceri Hand. https://www.artistmentor.co.uk/welcome/
Also during this month I was fortunate to be selected for a Cultivator Cornwall project, Synesthesia that paired me with established art writer, Tom Jeffreys https://www.tom-jeffreys.co.uk/about who interveiwed and subsequently wrote the essay Ground Truths about my work and practices.
In December, Colchester based artist Linda Theophilus and I set up Out of Site, a lockdown residency project to provide structure to our practices exploring the essence of place. Aware that our work was drifitng through a lack of tangible deadlines we imposed quarterly review periods based on the solstices and equinoxes supplemented by monthly chats and the sharing of work in progress, research findings, book and film suggestions. When we are able to move freely again, we will spend time in each other's location, continuing the projects begun in 2020.
This year was given up to designing and delivering Goonhilly Village Green 2.
During 2017 and into 2018 I was able to take part in several workshops and residencies organised by other artists. These have proved invaluable as ways of learning about different ways of working, conducting research and connecting with new people and ideas.
It began brilliantly with a residential workshop, 'Place Exploration', convened by Dr Bram Thomas Arnold and delivered with Davis & Jones at Kestle Barton in Cornwall in November 2017. A 5 day practice-based research residency examined Kestle Barton through ecological and autoethnographic lenses including workshops, lectures, peer-to-peer debate, screenings and interactions with the land.
The following week I was in London taking part in a 5 day course at the Institute for Historical Research, Univeristy of London in 'Methods and Sources for Historical Research' which was amazing, taking us to numerous archives and collections including the Women's and TUC Librarys, National Archives and the Wellcome Collection.
In June 2018 I took part in a 6 day residential field recording course at Glenshee in the Scottish Cairngorms. 'Murmuration#1' was organised and delivered by field recordists, Jez Riley French and Chris Watson and was truly awe inspiring. We spent 20 hours a day working with sound, making recordings, discussing ideas, hearing from guest artists. I'm hoping to go again in 2019.
Immediately after this I was part of Low profile's 'Jamboree' at Dartington Hall in Devon. A fantastic experience with 150 other artist, curators, producers and writers camping and living together for 4 days. Low Profile created a platform for participants to contribute and shape the event, genuinely enabling a multi-authored event.
In August I took part in Simon Persighetti and Katie Etheridge's 'Twin Town', one of Live Art Development Agencies' DIY sessions this year. Again, a wonderfully intense opportunity to meet new practitioners and explore different ways of developing and delivering ideas.
And later in the month I was a participant at EOTWG's (End of the World Garden) 'Beyond the Fields' event devised and led by Paul Chaney and Lauren Holt which brought together around 30 people to discuss the nature of transdisciplinary research and art/science collaborations. Highly thought provoking we are exploring ways of keeping the collective conversations going.